Church accused of 'scaremongering'

Bicester Advertiser: The Church of England said introducing same-sex marriage would see its canon law clash with Parliamentary law The Church of England said introducing same-sex marriage would see its canon law clash with Parliamentary law

The Church of England has been accused by gay rights campaigners of orchestrating a "masterclass in melodramatic scaremongering" after it warned that same sex marriage could threaten its relationship with the nation.

Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, the campaigning gay rights group, dismissed fears raised by the Church of England that introducing same sex marriage would undermine its centuries-old role as the established Church.

He said polling commissioned by Stonewall has shown more than 80% of people in Britain under 50 are in favour of introducing same sex marriage - amongst religious people, he said, three in five said gay people should be able to get married.

"That holes below the water line the tendentious claims being made by a small number of clergy," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "Many bishops in the Church of England today will be rather pleased because once again they are not talking about global poverty or the HIV pandemic - they are talking about the subject that obsesses them, and that is sex.

"I have not come across such a masterclass in melodramatic scaremongering - that somehow this is the biggest upheaval since the sacking of the monasteries - since as a journalist myself a decade ago I was summoned to a government briefing to be told about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

Mr Summerskill's remarks come after the Church of England said that introducing gay marriage would threaten the establishment of the Church of England and lead to an unprecedented clash between its own canon law - that marriage is between a man and a woman - and that of Parliament.

The Church also warned that in spite of ministerial assurances that churches would not have to conduct gay marriages, it would be "very doubtful" whether limiting same-sex couples to non-religious ceremonies would withstand a challenge at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

A successful legal challenge brought at the ECHR could make it impossible for the Church of England to continue its role conducting marriages on behalf of the state, it said.

In a highly critical response to the Government's consultation on gay marriage, which closes on Thursday, the Church of England said several major elements of the proposals had not been thought through properly and were not legally "sound". It warned that introducing same sex marriage would alter the intrinsic nature of marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

A Downing Street spokeswoman insisted that the proposals being put forward by the Government would not require Church of England ministers to conduct same-sex marriages in churches. She indicated that the Government took legal advice on the likelihood of a challenge to the European court before drawing up its proposals. She acknowledged that legal challenges were possible on any issue. The spokeswoman confirmed that Tory MPs will be given a free vote in any division on gay marriage.

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1:32pm Tue 12 Jun 12

Katie Re-Registered says...

"It warned that introducing same sex marriage would alter the intrinsic nature of marriage as a union of a man and a woman."

...And that's a bad thing?!!! I'd say the church is not only being homophobic here, but also sexist and transphobic too. They claim that God created everyone either male or female yet how come there are also people born intersex too? They talk about gender as if it's absolute and biologically determined yet there is evidence to show that much of it (e.g. boys wearing blue and girls wearing pink) is merely a false social construct.

Seems to me that the church is more concerned about its wordly socio-political economic status than spiritual matters these days: wasn't the attitude of the boastful Pharisee originally and precisely the sort of thing that Jesus challenged in the first place? With all the other terrible things going on the world that they could lend a hand to help ameliorate it's somewhat disappointing that they concentrate all their mean-spiritedness on picking on a minority of people who love each other and all they ask for is a little thing like being treated equally and being allowed to get married on the same terms as everyone else(!)

And, btw, if we're all created in God's image then what gender do they think God is? The nearest we get is that St.Paul (the last person to be feminist or a friend of the LGBT community) telling us that 'in God there is neither male nor female.' So settled then: God is a Genderqueer so be nasty to we, the LGBT community at your peril:)!
"It warned that introducing same sex marriage would alter the intrinsic nature of marriage as a union of a man and a woman." ...And that's a bad thing?!!! I'd say the church is not only being homophobic here, but also sexist and transphobic too. They claim that God created everyone either male or female yet how come there are also people born intersex too? They talk about gender as if it's absolute and biologically determined yet there is evidence to show that much of it (e.g. boys wearing blue and girls wearing pink) is merely a false social construct. Seems to me that the church is more concerned about its wordly socio-political economic status than spiritual matters these days: wasn't the attitude of the boastful Pharisee originally and precisely the sort of thing that Jesus challenged in the first place? With all the other terrible things going on the world that they could lend a hand to help ameliorate it's somewhat disappointing that they concentrate all their mean-spiritedness on picking on a minority of people who love each other and all they ask for is a little thing like being treated equally and being allowed to get married on the same terms as everyone else(!) And, btw, if we're all created in God's image then what gender do they think God is? The nearest we get is that St.Paul (the last person to be feminist or a friend of the LGBT community) telling us that 'in God there is neither male nor female.' So settled then: God is a Genderqueer so be nasty to we, the LGBT community at your peril:)! Katie Re-Registered

1:41pm Tue 12 Jun 12

Shoong says...

It's up to the Church whether or not they want to marry gay people. Why is it gay people think they can just roll in & have the Church change just for them?
I'm also willing to bet that 99% of gay people wanting to marry don't go to church anyway, it's just another method of getting in our faces.
It's up to the Church whether or not they want to marry gay people. Why is it gay people think they can just roll in & have the Church change just for them? I'm also willing to bet that 99% of gay people wanting to marry don't go to church anyway, it's just another method of getting in our faces. Shoong

2:08pm Tue 12 Jun 12

sburman says...

Why can’t people just have respect for each other. I am neither Gay or religious but I like to feel I have respect for those who are, AS LONG AS THEY DON’T TRY TO FORCE THEIR VIEWS/LIFESTYLE ON ME.
If a B&B/Guest House is run by religious people why can’t the Gay couple just stay somewhere else?
If I was in a restaurant/Café/Pub and a couple where `Heavy Petting` shall we say, I would feel uncomfortable whoever they were.
If an organisation ( i.e. the Church ) has certain rules and customs ( i.e. marriage between men & women ) what right has an outsider ( which includes me ) to say ways must be changed to meet their way of life, obsoletely no right in my opinion.
Why can’t people just have respect for each other. I am neither Gay or religious but I like to feel I have respect for those who are, AS LONG AS THEY DON’T TRY TO FORCE THEIR VIEWS/LIFESTYLE ON ME. If a B&B/Guest House is run by religious people why can’t the Gay couple just stay somewhere else? If I was in a restaurant/Café/Pub and a couple where `Heavy Petting` shall we say, I would feel uncomfortable whoever they were. If an organisation ( i.e. the Church ) has certain rules and customs ( i.e. marriage between men & women ) what right has an outsider ( which includes me ) to say ways must be changed to meet their way of life, obsoletely no right in my opinion. sburman

2:11pm Tue 12 Jun 12

*Flick* says...

A religion should not have to change to suit someone.
If it is a sin to be gay, then the church can hardly change their views on it just because more people are openly gay these days!
Not all churches allow divorced people to re-marry - but you dont hear them crying to the court of human rights!
Some people make me furious - expecting a religion to change for you? How self absorbed!!!!!
A religion should not have to change to suit someone. If it is a sin to be gay, then the church can hardly change their views on it just because more people are openly gay these days! Not all churches allow divorced people to re-marry - but you dont hear them crying to the court of human rights! Some people make me furious - expecting a religion to change for you? How self absorbed!!!!! *Flick*

2:14pm Tue 12 Jun 12

The Cater Wood Creeper says...

religion doesn't mean a thing, it's just another way of being right wing.
religion doesn't mean a thing, it's just another way of being right wing. The Cater Wood Creeper

2:30pm Tue 12 Jun 12

sburman says...

The Cater Wood Creeper wrote:
religion doesn't mean a thing, it's just another way of being right wing.
Oh you are so, so wrong.

As I have said I am not religious but if you have ever read any of the scriptures you will see that Jesus was the first and most perfect of communists, totally for the equality of all.

But you are entitiled to your view and I will also respect that
[quote][p][bold]The Cater Wood Creeper[/bold] wrote: religion doesn't mean a thing, it's just another way of being right wing.[/p][/quote]Oh you are so, so wrong. As I have said I am not religious but if you have ever read any of the scriptures you will see that Jesus was the first and most perfect of communists, totally for the equality of all. But you are entitiled to your view and I will also respect that sburman

2:57pm Tue 12 Jun 12

dawn patrol says...

Only 25% of couples get married in church,and a lot of gay couples are not interested in a church wedding so this is a non story.The church has less and less influence in the world, the bible is just a bunch of fairy stories written by men, not god or jesus.
Only 25% of couples get married in church,and a lot of gay couples are not interested in a church wedding so this is a non story.The church has less and less influence in the world, the bible is just a bunch of fairy stories written by men, not god or jesus. dawn patrol

4:33pm Tue 12 Jun 12

ponderman says...

YAWN YAWN YAWN
YAWN YAWN YAWN ponderman

9:27pm Tue 12 Jun 12

dawn patrol says...

Wake up at the back there.
Wake up at the back there. dawn patrol
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